All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: The overhyped and over-spoilered sequel to the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reboot tackles more Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker issues, Harry and Norman Osborn and Oscorp, Electro, The Rhino, Parker’s parents, and of course, Aunt May; plus, as comic-geek Pascale tells me, some of the events in the classic AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121 and 122. In other words, a very small, quiet and unambititious 142-minute epic. Although the preivews, Entertainment Weekly and other morons have shown and spilled spoilers aplenty, I’ll try my best to avoid as many as I can. Which ain’t easy!
AM2 was Written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner. Directed by Marc Webb (who obviously learned a lot from the first fiasco).
- [MIKE: “Based on the comic book by STAN LEE and STEVE DITKO nice and early in the end crawl.]
- BEST swinging-thru-the-city scenes EVER. Awesome stunts and camera work. Same with the CG figures. Remember how cool the end scene was in Sam Raimi’s original SPIDER-MAN? Times that by five, fella. [MIKE: Thanks to the technological advances, of course. But overall cinematography is excellent.] Whatever, art boy. Camera-work, cinatmaography, they both looked cool.
- Jamie Foxx does a great Electro. Even if he looks nothing like the original (both in human and villain form), he makes a truely unique, powerful and even sympathetic villain. Of course they wouldn’t go with the whacky green and yellow spandex outfit with the lightbolt facemask, but what they did choose looked believable and cool. And the electic FX are the best yet.
- Very deep emotional stuff throughout, if yer into that sort of thing. A lot of love and loss. I think it’s called “porthos”. [MIKE: No, you idiot, that’s one of the Three Musketeers. It’s “pathos.”] Again, whatEVER. Will you shut up and let me review this thing? [Okay, okay.]
- The humor is good and funny. Spidey is more of the wisecracker is in the classic comics. Garfield really has a handle on the character and attitude.
- The relationship between Gwen (Emma Stone] and Parker is a lot more genuine than the previous movie, which seemed forced and fake. (The fact that the actors are banging each other off-screen probably helps.)
- Dane DeHaan (from METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER) is a decent Harry Osborn corporate-type, although more evil than the brat in the comics. Good actor, tho.
- Web-shooting looks the best yet. But how long do those little cartridges last? Some of the classic situations of the comics were malfunctions and running out.
- Stan Lee has two shots and a line for his cameo, but it’s in the first 15 minutes or so, so don’t miss it.
- Love Parker’s ring tone. And Spidey’s whistling tune.
- The button during the credits (right after the major ones with all the fancy graphics). HOLY MONKEY CRAP! Tons of spoilers here, including a crossover I didn’t think was possible. Gotta stay for it.
- Just like the old comics, Spidey can catch cold. But sneezing in your mask? Not cool, bro.
- The backstory about Peter’s parents is well done and satisfying; no idea if it ties in with the comics.
- Saw it in DFX 3D. Decent use of the format. Not HUGO or even AVATAR-level, of course, but did rope you into the action more. Guessing IMAX would be pretty awesome for the action scenes.
- The costume is more “straight” blue and red like the comic, if you care about that stuff. But there’s still an issue with the webbing (see CONS below).
- The villains look nothing like they do in the comics. While it’s understandable with Electro, it’s not with the Green Goblin (um, if you’re builing a battle suit, wouldn’t you give it some kind of helmet?) or the ridiculous Rhino. (I get the mechanical aspect, but when you see it move, you’re gonna giggle like I did.)
- Guess I’m the only one who doesn’t remember Gwen’s finding out Peter’s secret in the last film. And with the official tagline, “No More Secrets”, is Spidey competing with ARROW now?
- [MIKE: NO acknowledgement for Gerry Conway, John Romita or anyone else responsible for ASM #121-122 or the villains and other characters/events in this film. Blatant omission! You didn’t see that with the Marvel Studios-produced films. Why snub such major creative giants?]
- Why does Spidey suddenly have treads on his boots? He can cling to walls with his bare feet, remember? Doesn’t need treads for grip. DUH.
- Speaking of the costume, they STILL haven’t fully grasped that it’s supposed to be covered with a WEB design, NOT a graph-paper grid. Yes, they tried to give it a tiny bit of curving, but it’s so subtle it might as well be straight lines.
- The movie is just under two-and-a-half hours but feels like three. Makes LORD OF THE RINGS: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG seem like average length.
- There’s so much story crammed in here, it has three endings. You really get a feeling it was focus-grouped. After what should have been the ending, you can just hear the studio giving in to the test audiences to give a more upbeat ending. But it comes out of nowhere AND leaves you hanging.
- [MIKE: The major tie-in with the pivotal ASM issues was changed! I can’t say anymore now, but they complicated the situation and removed a lot of the character impact. Unnecessary.]
- Because of the cramming, there’s hardly any history to Peter and Harry. You never get the feeling they’re the childhood friends they say they were. And Norman Osborn is a grotesque afterthought, so there’s not much sympathy or empathy for Harry. It’s all exposition and after-the-fact.
- Oscorp might as well take on Hydra for its character tie-ins. Too many for my taste.
- Too much lovey-dovey, cutesy-wootsy couple stuff between Petey and Gwen. Great for “Shippers” and chicks in the audience, but real MEN like yers truly don’t need that much. A little goes a long way.
- Still no J. Jonah Jameson? Sure, no one can take the place of J.K. Simmons, but they’ve replaced everyone else so far, so why not?
- No button at the end of the credits! Come on, man, it’s a MARVEL movie! Gotta give us that reward.
SEE IT. (Barely.)
Easily enjoyed it more than the previous one. Definitely better than SPIDER-MAN 3, not as good as SPIDER-MAN 2 (in terms of entertainment value and story; but a lot more emotional, and those under 30 will like it better). I honestly don’t know if I’d ever want to sit thru the whole thing again, so I wouldn’t buy it. If yer a Spidey fan, you’ll want to see it on the big screen to take in those fantastic swinging scenes and the big battles. But if yer cheap, you could wait till it’s on demand.
P.S.: Pascale does a good Spidey for commissions, including new takes on classic covers. He can also do one sweet an’ sexy Gwen or MJ. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale or the DAILY BUGLE. “Bru-Hed dude, Bru-Hed dude, Unfriendly Neighborhood Bru-Hed dude; drinks a beer, any size; farts a lot, draws the flies, look out! Here comes that stinky Bru-Hed dude…”